NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has finally allowed 100 percent occupancy in multiplexes and cinema halls from February 1.
Theaters have remained shut for seven months because of the coronavirus outbreak and reopened with only a fraction of the capacity.
"Seating arrangement inside the auditorium of the cinemas/theatres/multiplexes is to be allowed up to 100 percent seating capacity," the ministry said in its new standard operating procedures (SOPs) released on January 30.
No films, however, shall be screened in containment zones, said the SOPs.
"All staff and visitors will have to follow measures such as adequate physical distancing of at least six feet, use face covers or masks at all times and install the Aarogya Setu app on their phones," the SOPs further added.
"Efforts will be made to avoid overcrowding in the common areas, lobbies and washrooms during the intermission," the statement said.
Intermissions may be made longer to allow people to move in a staggered manner.
Other measures include staggered show timings for multiple screens to avoid crowding, sanitisation after every show and air conditioning temperatures in the range of 24-30°C.
Welcoming this move, the Producers' Guild of India said, “We welcome the decision of @MIB_India to allow 100% capacity in cinemas from February 1 and extend our sincere gratitude to Honourable @PrakashJavdekar ji and everyone involved in facilitating this important step in our industry’s recovery.”
Theatres closed in mid-March when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. They were allowed to reopen in October.
Copyright©2024 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today